The Shortlisted Nominees for the BOLD Awards 2020

The Shortlisted Nominees for the BOLD Awards 2020

The first round of online public voting has now ended and we are delighted to share the names of the final nominees in each of the 12 categories of 2020’s annual BOLD Awards.

The online votes that were cast will count for 50% of the final decisions, and the introduction of our international panel of judges to the process will also account for 50% of the overall selection of winners. Judges will evaluate each nominee on the basis of Level of Impact 40%, Scalability 30%, Transparency 20%, and H-factor 10% (Human & Social).

Our aim is to recognise and champion the companies, projects and individuals powering BOLD breakthroughs around the world. Pursuing incremental advances is important and valuable, though it means people remain grounded in what already exists. Whereas aiming for a 10x gain rather than a 10% improvement requires bravery and creativity to be truly innovative.

Working with our event partner H-FARM, the final award ceremony will be a gala dinner held at their campus in Venice, Italy, on March 27. Attendance is limited mainly to the award winners, category sponsors and some of our corporate partners and investors, though a few tickets remain available to spend a unique evening in their company. Apply to Attend here if you think you’ve got what it takes to spend an evening with the BOLDEST:

Here are the nominees by category. Did the projects you voted for make it to this stage?

Advertising – presented by Crowdsourcing Week


AR/VR – presented by H-FARM

Artificial Intelligence

Crowdsourcing – presented by Tam Development


Marketplaces – presented by Tipalti

Open Innovation – presented by heroX

Remote Working – presented by GoGo Places

Robotics – presented by Surcle

Science – presented by sbv IMPROVER

Space Frontier – presented by heroX

Our panel of international judges will now assess the nominees and determine the winners, who will be announced at the black-tie gala dinner award ceremony at H-FARM on March 27 in Venice Italy. You can Apply to Attend here if you think you’ve got what it takes to spend an evening with the BOLDEST: #beBOLD

Crowdsourcing Citizen Scientists Feeds BOLD Scientific Developments

Crowdsourcing Citizen Scientists Feeds BOLD Scientific Developments

AI technology is increasingly used to open up new horizons for scientists and researchers. It enables analysis of masses of data much faster than humans can manage, identifies deep trends and patterns that could be indiscernible to human analysts, and can better keep up-to-date with the plethora of scientific research findings published around the world to connect relevant pieces together.

Though as much as AI and machine learning can cope with masses of data, they also have an insatiable appetite for more and more data to improve the eventual decision-making, provide unbiased feedback and, when required, implementable solutions. Feeding machine learning therefore often requires human input on a mass scale from “citizen scientists.”

Citizen scientists are people with an interest, but no qualifications, in science-based topics and who are prepared to volunteer their effort and input towards scientific projects. A number of platforms now exist to provide an interface between the legions of citizen scientists and project leaders or sponsors who require their help.

It isn’t the only form of crowdsourcing support in the Science sector. Tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris International launched sbv IMPROVER which has created and utilises a community of eminent global scientists. Their role is to independently check and comment on the validity of the research methods used and the results that are being achieved by PMI to develop less harmful products.

Though shifting back to the mass volunteer sector, Zooniverse has a network of over one million volunteers and is one of the biggest citizen science platforms in the UK. A great example of the social benefit from their work is their partnership with Cancer UK on launching Cell Slider, a project which to date has involved volunteers in analysing more than two million images of cancer cells.

A citizen scientist global challenge

A global 2020 project relying on citizen scientists is the City Nature Challenge. 200 cities around the world will compete to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people. In the first stage, running April 24-27, volunteers will record and submit images of plant and animal life. In the second stage, April 28-May 3, people will try to identify what’s in all the images.

In 2019, Cape Town in South Africa recorded the most observations and the greatest diversity of species. San Francisco in California had the most participants of any city, with 1,947 people taking part. 

In total, over 35,000 people provided 963,000 images and identified over 31,000 species of plant and animal life. Scientists can track trends from one year to the next, and the resulting library of images can then be used by other people on different projects and for different purposes. Here’s a link to the cities taking part on 2020, perhaps you’d like to get involved:

Cities Taking Part in the 2020 City Nature Challenge
Cities Taking Part in the 2020 City Nature Challenge

Citizen science in less developed economies

However, as the map of the cities in the 2020 City Nature Challenge suggests, there is an inherent bias in citizen science projects towards more developed economies where people are served by better built environment infrastructure and have easier access to smartphones and the internet. In the interests of better results it is important to encourage participation from diverse communities of citizen scientists with different languages, customs and cultures.

An example of research being driven by an economic imperative in a less well developed infrastructure is in Argentina. The country is the world’s second largest honey producer and the third largest exporter, though every year 30% of its bees die. Beyond producing honey, bees and other insects such as butterflies and flies pollinate more than 75% of the most important crop types grown today, scientists say.

Cities Taking Part in the 2020 City Nature Challenge

A very recent project addressed this issue through recruiting citizen scientists as part of a project to research bee health issues. Previous research on bees has largely been confined to North America and Europe. The number of instances of observing bees has climbed in recent decades, probably due to more researchers going into the field to document and study them, but the number of observed species has fallen.

Eduardo Zattara and Marcelo Aizen of the Pollination Ecology Group at the Biodiversity and Environment Research Institute in Rio Negro, Argentina, found the same pattern. It is now known that declines in the number of bee species have occurred on every continent with the exception of Australia and nearby islands. Zattara, now also a visiting scientist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., hopes the study prompts other scientists, policy makers and business leaders to take action to reverse the decline.

BOLD Awards 2020

Judging entries in all 12 categories, which include Crowdsourcing and Science, has started. The shortlists of nominees will be released on February 11 and our panel of international judges will determine the final winners. The winners will collect their awards at a black-tie gala dinner just outside Venice, Italy, on March 27th. And you can be there to network with the winners, judges and VIPs who are spearheading breakthrough innovations throughout the world. Apply here to attend, if you’re BOLD enough: